Scratch Spin Free Leg | Golden Skate

Scratch Spin Free Leg


Jun 24, 2022
Hi Skaters,

Another scratch spin question. I've been working on this thing for YEARS and finally realised part of my problem may be how "straight" my free leg is. I have had a lot of coaching on this spin and while it changes, it doesn't seem to get better. I feel very good about the pre-entrance (wind-up), sometimes the actual entrance feels good (nice blade sound at the end of the curve), and while I can spin fine on one leg when my leg is only bent with the knee pointed forward and the free leg foot touching the inside of the other leg, I can not seem to get the very first position (free leg straight at 45 degrees) in the scratch spin. It's frustrating and I think my sit-spin might have improved more than this one.

I know my free leg is going out but often not at the right angle because if I try to cross, the blade is not at all in front of my other leg and that scares me because I don't want to cut my leg with my blade! For a while, I tried pushing in the direction of the spin with my toe because I felt my leg was getting pushed back by the rotation. It did seem to help until I saw how overextended my free leg knee was in a video and decided to try relaxing because that can't be right. Yay hyper mobility, I have no idea how "straight" anything is, ever. Yesterday I tried relaxing the free leg at the beginning of the spin and it seemed to help. I was able to control where my leg came in a bit.

This is where I'd like your opinions. I know spins require a certain tightness and at some point a relaxation. Can you lovely, experienced skaters please tell me a little about how that feels to you? Do you feel like you relax right after the whip-around of the free leg? It looks as if most skaters do straighten the leg out, are you doing it consciously like a beautiful ballet type extension or is it less tight-muscled than that? When you tighten "everything" what body parts are you thinking about?

Thank you so much for your responses.
Last edited:

Diana Delafield

Frequent flyer
Oct 22, 2022
Took a few minutes on my spinner to break this down in my mind (and now I owe my cat an apology; he thought I was trying to kick him :oops:). I seem to snap the free leg in so quickly there aren't really separate stages of angles or time to think in terms of stages. Where I feel the muscles working most for that split second of time is in the inner thigh of the free leg and the lower back and abdomen as I pull up to "stand tall".

Works for me, anyway :shrug:.